Sidera Special Child Program
Since Jack & Jill Kinder School began in 1963, Mrs. Lopez always opened her doors to students with special needs although their numbers were small in the past. During that time, special arrangements were made with Mrs. Lopez and typically a nanny or yaya would assist the student in a regular classroom. In 1995, Mrs. Lopez officially opened the Sidera Special Child Center. She hired a consultant to set up the program and train teachers with backgrounds and experiences in Special Education. In this program, most students were partially integrated or in individualized instruction setting equipped with a wide range of resources and activities.
In summer of 2016, Sidera went through an extensive self-study process. A self-study is an institutional self-reflection and critical analysis of its infrastructure, curriculum, and teacher education with the goal of providing the best programs and services. In collaboration with a team of Special Education specialists from University of the Philippines and alumna of Jack & Jill School, Sidera's program was reevaluated and reorganized. Sidera students were each reassessed. All teachers (regular, Sidera, and shadow teachers) attended rigorous discussions and workshops during that summer. More shadow teachers were hired. As a result of student assessments, most students could be fully integrated into regular classrooms. This is called Inclusion. Inclusion provides students with special needs a chance to learn, play, and grow with typically developing classmates so that special needs students develop age-appropriate behaviors just as typically developing children would. Each Sidera student is assessed each year, has an individualized educational plan (IEP), and their families meet with the assessment specialist yearly. For most Sidera students, they attended regular classes at City Heights.
Starting in June 2018, instead of Sidera being one location, as in a "center", we converted Sidera into a program where each school location has a special education program. This way, most Sidera students can enroll in any of the locations (City Heights, Homesite, and Victorias) depending on their preference. Each location has a team of shadow teachers. Regular teachers are also trained in handling special education challenges. In an Inclusion type of an environment, learning takes place for all students, faculty, staff, and parents and fostering a sense of acceptance, helpfulness, and appreciation for human diversity as it is. Today, Jack & Jill Schools and Castleson High meet the two legal mandates: 1) That all children have rights to an appropriate education, and 2) That the Inclusive Act was met, which stated that children nationwide in private and public schools should have inclusive education. We are the first and true inclusive K-12 school in Bacolod City.
COVID19 hit many families and schools severely. In great abundance of love and commitment, Sidera teachers participated in more than 20 hours of training in Applied Behavioral Analysis and intervention from autism experts in California to strengthen their skills and knowledge.
For parents and students interested in Sidera's program, it is recommended that you do the following:
1. Get your child observed from a developmental pediatrician and receive a diagnosis. We will provide recommendations if you prefer.
2. Contact the Special Education Program Officer to schedule a visit and learn about our program.
3. Enroll early. You can do this online at www.jjscastleson.org.
4. The Special Education Program Officer will schedule your child to be assessed to create an educational plan for your child. The assessment specialist meets with the student and his/her family for a family discussion.
Sidera, in Latin, means luminous.
All of our schools embrace inclusion which means most students with special needs are dispersed to all locations and are assigned shadow teachers. City Heights continues to have highly specialized, one-on-one services to students. The Sidera program has 29 teachers and staff with 101 students.
Contact Nathalie Navarra at
(63 34) 432-1435 Sidera
#1 Jade St, City Heights
Bacolod City, 6100, Philippines